From tragedy, a grassroots organization was born. Kimiya Factory is the president of Black Freedom Factory, a grassroots organization working for equity and diversity in the community and in the workplace. Kimiya is a self-described, determined, unapologetic, fearless, self-critical and grounded Afro-Latinx woman.
The Black Freedom Factory offers programs, initiatives and consulting. A business can hire Black Freedom Factory and they will conduct surveys or polls of their staff to really get a good feel for how minorities feel within the company. From there, the organization provides feedback to the company on how they may improve.
“The Black Freedom Factory was born when I called the city of San Antonio to action after the George Floyd protest,” said Kimiya Factory. “When I realized the need for business owners and corporate citizens to have an open dialogue about diversity and equity as it pertains to race relations. We need to take a stab at redefining professionalism and what that means. How we can capture folks’ individual identities and incorporate that into workplaces as well as in politics.”
“Essentially, Black Freedom Factory is data-driven activism,” said Kimiya Factory “It’s not just that, though, it’s making sure grassroots organizations are connected to businesses and corporations and systems that want to have honest conversations about equality. We want to be somewhere people can go if they feel lost in their workplace or might even have questions about diversity and equity.”
Most recently, BFF hosted their #ForThePeopleForum #NotADebate conversation with the city council and mayoral candidates.
Where does she see the organization in the next 5-10 years?
“My vision for the Black Freedom Factory is to expand beyond the city of San Antonio,” said Kimiya Factory. “I think every state and every city needs a Black Freedom Factory because the work that we do is authentic in its approach but more importantly it is connecting grass roots with the white collar corporate workplace and making sure that people have a seat at the table for these conversations.”
Activism and leadership are nothing new to Kimiya. During her time at UTSA, she lead the #ChangeRapeCulture. Kimiya explained how her experiences at UTSA shaped the work she is doing today.
“Change Rape Culture was a movement founded on campus that really helped me to form grassroots connections,” said Kimiya Factory. “Before I knew it I was involved in this dialogue in universities across San Antonio so it was really awesome for UTSA to help me plant that seed. UTSA also helped me to cultivate a space for the City of San Antonio to have open dialogue like the ones we were having on campus.”
When asked what her most significant accomplishment is, her answer was very telling.
“ I don’t think I’ve made it yet,” said Kimiya. “I’m not satisfied with the work that I’ve done yet. I think there is always more work to be done. I am happy to keep pushing forward.”